New Jersey Judge Rules Acquits Gaming Defendant

By Maria McCoyGoogle
This past week, a milestone court decision was made in New Jersey by Judge Jack B. Weinstein, who determined that a man accused of running an online gambling business was within the confines of the law because poker is a game of skill.
The defendant, Lawrence DiCristina, was busted last year for operating a backroom poker room. The Judge threw out the conviction and vacated the indictment.
In his final address, Judge Jack Weinstein stated, “Poker is more a game of skill than a game of chance, so game operators should not be prosecuted under the federal law that prohibits running an illegal gambling business.”
The Judge put together a detailed one hundred and twenty page ruling paper that accounted the history of poker playing within the United States. In it, the Judge made the point that skillful professionals in gaming industry earn the same exorbitant salaries as professional sports players.
Additionally, Judge Weinstein said that under the United States’ Illegal Gambling Businesses Act, in his view poker is a game of skill rather than illegal gambling.  
Lawrence DiCristina, operated a high-stakes poker room in the back part of a warehouse from which he also sold bikes.
In the document, Judge Weinstein highlighted that the current gaming laws were originally created to control organized crime. He ruled the way he did because he felt this particular case did not involve any of these elements and therefore could not prosecuted under that law.

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